This week I’m wearing an aran cardigan that my mother knitted.
The Louleigh community has been getting really excited about yokes. Come and join the Magnificent Louleigh Yoke Along. #knit1000g closes on 20 March. Don’t forget to update your posts to be in with a chance in the prize draw. I’m really forward to meeting some of you at the Rabbie’s Cafe meet up in Edinburgh.
I’ve been putting off writing this review because I just didn’t know what to say about the yarn. The very few words I do have to say about De Rerum Natura’s Gilliatt aren’t going to fill up much space; however, it is a yarn that I really want to share with you, so lets just crack on with the vital statistics.
Yarn weight Worsted; Skein weight 100 g; Length 250 m; Recommended tension 17 – 19 stitches over 10 cm; Recommended needle 4 – 5 mm needles; Fibre content European Merino; No. of plys 3; Spun in France.
Gilliatt doesn’t feel like any other merino that I’ve squished in the ball. It’s not as finely spun as other merino yarns I’ve encountered. The yarn looks plump, round, and woolly; and the ball rebounds as I squish it in my hand. It’s not super soft either. You aren’t going to pick this up and coo over it, but it is pleasant to the touch.
Swatch knitted of 4 mm needles after one wash.
I knitted two swatches with 4 and 5 mm needles, and ended up with a gauge of 18.5 stitches x 30 rows and 17 stitches x 26 rows over 10 cm. Both fabrics look great. This plump yarn expands out in to the space around it, so the fabric still looks full and opaque at a looser gauge. On smaller needles, the knitted fabric still has a nice movement to it. I wouldn’t say that either swatch has drape, but they do have a nice movement to them.
It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t experience any prickle factor while wearing my swatches. I’ve knitted the Furrow Hat with it, and haven’t experienced any prickling or itchiness against my forehead. I didn’t notice the swatch when tucked into my neckband either.
Swatch knitted on 5 mm needles after two washes and two weeks of armpit testing.
This is the bit where I run out of words for this yarn. I proceeded to the wear test, when the swatch gets tucked in to my bra at the armpit, and stays there for a few days. The 5 mm swatch spent a week in close proximity to my perspiring armpit – no change. So I washed it again, and tucked it in to my bra for another week, then hand washed it again. Still no change. Oh, sorry, it’s a teeny tiny bit softer. That is all.
So how would I describe this yarn? Stable. And that is something I like in a yarn. If you’re going to take the time to knit a garment, you really want it to maintain it’s looks for a long time. I think Gilliatt would. At £11 it’s a high quality mid-range yarn. I liked it a lot, and very badly want to make myself a garment with it.
This week I’m wearing Treysta.
This week I’m wearing Enchanted Mesa.
I will be attending the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. If you’d like to join me for breakfast at Rabbie’s Cafe, there are details in the Louleigh Ravelry Group.
Sign ups for Quarter 1 of the Advent Mini Skein Swap will close on Monday 11 February.
Pop over to the Ravelry thread for an opportunity to win the Pebbles and Pathways pattern.
In this episode I’m wearing my Treysta jersey.
This morning I came across a advert for eco-friendly biros, and was left wondering why you wouldn’t just use a pencil. I’ve always been rather fond of a pencil – so much easier to put things right or just change your mind. I won’t be buying eco-friendly pens, but the ad did remind me to pop in here to update you on the unsustainable textile quandary.
You might remember that I was concerned about the micro-particles that are released from non-biodegradable textiles as they are laundered, and their impact on marine life. The questions I raised were about the textiles already in my house, and the best way forward.
Having done an afternoon of research, and consulted the hive mind (that’s you), I came up with nothing – well almost nothing. The answer seemed to be ‘it’s complicated’. The problem is that these textiles even exist at all. Once they’ve been manufactured, they’re in the environment, and there is just no getting rid of them.
With that in mind, I intend to make the most of my polar fleece dressing gown. Using and reusing it for as long as possible seems to be the best way forward. But what about the micro-particles washing in to waterways? I’ve decided to try a product called Guppyfriend. This is a washing bag that is supposed to contain these harmful fibres, so that you can scoop them out and pop them in the bin. I haven’t tried the bag yet, but will say two things. Some people will find the £32 price tag prohibitive, and most stockists are sold out. I can only hope that there will be other solutions that are more accessible. I am cynical about the effectiveness of the bag; however, I was a Brownie sworn to do my best, and right now that’s a fancy laundry bag.
I had thought that buying new things would be less of a problem, however even that is proving to be more of a shift in thinking than I’d anticipated. Finding yoga leggings wasn’t a problem. Yoga buffs are an environmentally conscious lot, and finding clothing with explicit green credentials wasn’t too difficult. Buying fabric for a work project was a little more problematic. I only needed a metre of cotton, so popped along to the quilting shop to buy local. There are other environmental issues around cotton, but at least this less thoughtful purchase is biodegradable. The item that really caught me out was a fabric advent calendar that I purchased on line without giving it a second thought. Hopefully it shouldn’t need washing.
My transition to using textiles with a lower environmental impact isn’t going to be as simple as picking up a pencil. This is going to be a journey that involves acquiring a consciousness and conscientiousness around everyday items and choices I currently take for granted.
I’d love to hear how your managing your man made laundry, and if you’re trying anti-micro-particle products. What have you found that works, or doesn’t work? And how are you finding the transition to using only textiles made from natural fibres? Are you finding there’s lots of choice, or have you slipped up like me?